Friday, March 11, 2016

Free Fiction: Vegetable Medicine

“How about carrots?” Freddie pulled up a clump of bright orange carrot with frothy greens on top.

Rodney made a face. “I don’t like carrots.”

“Okay.” Freddie hummed as he looked over the produce. “Beets?”

“Oh, disgusting. No.” Rodney waved a hand.

“I know you don’t like some vegetables too much, but we need to find something you’ll eat,” Freddie said. “The doctor said your cholesterol is sneaking up there, and she wants you to try to bring it down by eating better.”
Rodney sighed.

“And it is much better for you to do it this way than to take all those drugs, with side effects. Once you go on those drugs, it’s really hard to get off them.”

“I know. I know.”

“Now, what about broccoli?” Freddie pointed to the pile of lush little tree-like stalks.

“I like potatoes.”

“That’s good, but man does not live by potatoes alone.” Freddie paused. “What about sweet potatoes?”

“Not the same.”

“And I like cheese.”

“Completely opposite of what you’re supposed to be eating. Cheese is the enemy.” Freddie rolled his eyes. “Well, I’m done then. Get sick. Take drugs. Be stubborn. Come find me when you’re finished saying no to everything here that isn’t from the dirt in Idaho.” Freddie pushed the shopping cart forward, head held high and very stiff, and didn’t look back at Rodney as he went.

Rodney rubbed his eyes, and looked over the expanse of the produce area. He really didn’t like vegetables. Really. Really. Really.

He pulled the paper from his pocket with the options the doctor had given him. Fresh veggies were definitely on the list. But so were beans and oatmeal. He didn’t mind those, at least, not too much. Beans went into burritos. Oatmeal was okay, too. He could add in brown sugar or honey or maple syrup, and then it tasted fine.

Rodney looked over the produce again. Freddie wouldn’t be happy with just beans and oatmeal. He also wouldn’t be happy if Rodney’s cholesterol went higher, and his health deteriorated, and eventually Rodney died slightly earlier than he should have, leaving Freddie alone for his last few decades. Or worse, had a stroke and couldn’t care for himself. Rodney didn’t like either possibility. Not that he could see into a crystal ball, and certainly there were other dangers out there, but he knew this was important to Freddie.

Rodney reached out and nabbed a stalk of celery. With a little peanut butter, it wouldn’t be too awful. Then, he went to find Freddie.

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